While most men have been well-catechized about the mercy and love of Jesus Christ, many men have not realized the very tough and demanding nature of Jesus as He seeks to admonish sinners and spur them to repentance. 

Here are numerous examples (over 130) that show how Jesus uses a variety of tough, confrontational and sometimes insulting words and actions to break through to those whose hearts are hardened in sin. Note: the fact that these confrontational acts are often repeated in multiple Gospel accounts confirms the reality of Christ’s aggressive actions to convert sinners and how His words and actions were seared into the minds of the Apostles who carefully preserved and passed along these examples in their respective Gospels.

Jesus confronts and admonishes sinners

Event (1)

Daily Devotion article (2) 

Jesus aggressively rebukes and casts out Satan at the Temptation

Mt 4:1-11; Lk 4:1-13

Jesus publicly rebukes the scribes, revealing the “evil” in their hearts, and purposefully heals the Paralytic Man to demonstrate His power and correct the scribes

Mt 9:1-9; Mk 2:1-12

Jesus insults the prideful and ignorant Pharisees about their twisted views about the Sabbath

Mt 12:1-18; Mk 2:23-28; Lk 6:1-5

Jesus publicly challenges the Pharisees about healing on the Sabbath and then heals the man with a withered hand, provoking the Pharisees to fury

Lk 6:6-11

Jesus pronounces woes (curses) on the rich, the gluttonous, the frivolous and those who bask in popularity

Lk 6:20-26

Jesus bluntly warns the Jews who are persecuting Him that He will judge them for their evil 

Jn 5:17-30

Jesus warns of His harsh Judgment and punishment for those who hate others

Mt 5:20-26

Jesus publicly insults the hypocrites (pretenders) for their false pious acts

Mt 6:1-6, 16-18

Jesus insults and rebukes men of “little faith” for their anxiety and dependence on material things

Mt 6:24-34

Jesus rebukes men as ignorant hypocrites who judge others, mocking them as being blinded by having a “log” of sin in their eye

Mt 7:1-6; Lk 6:39-45

Jesus warns false/casual disciples who only pretend to follow Him of their impending destruction

Lk 6:43-49

Jesus uses insulting descriptions of evil unbelievers, calling them “dogs” and “pigs”,  unworthy of attention

Mt 7:6, 12-14

Jesus condemns false prophets as “ravenous wolves”, “evil” and “bad trees”

Mt 7:15-20

Jesus purposefully hand-makes a “whip of cords” and uses physical violence and coercion to clear the Temple of evil-doers; He destroys their merchant stands and scatters their money (leading them to loose signifiant income)

John 2:13-25

Jesus rebukes the leader Nicodemus for his ignorance of the Spirit and humiliates him for his lack of knowledge of Scripture

Jn 3:7b-15

Jesus decisively rebukes and humiliates the evil scribes/crowd after they absurdly accuse Him of working for Satan

Mk 3:22-30; Lk 11:14-23

Jesus severely rebukes the Apostles for their cowardice during the storm at sea

Mt 8:23-27, Mk 4:35-41, Jn 6:16-21

Jesus bluntly rebukes the unbelief of those who seek a sign

Jn 4:43-54

Jesus embarrasses the murderous men who seek to stone the woman caught in adultery

Jn 8:1-11

Jesus bluntly warns His Jewish persecutors that they are going to die in their sins

Jn 8:21-30

Jesus publicly insults the unbelieving Jews, confirming that their “father is the devil” and He calls them “liars”

Jn 8:31-42

Jn 8:51-59

Jesus publicly admonishes and embarrasses the Pharisees for their lack of mercy

Mt 9:9-13; Lk 5:27-32

Jesus rebukes the men of Nazareth for their disbelief and warns them that they will not receive God’s blessings

Mt 13:54-58; Mk 6:1-6; Lk 4:14-22a

Jesus calls the people of Israel an “evil generation” and embarrasses them by revealing that some pagans are superior in moral authority

Lk 11:29-32

Jesus instructs the Apostles to harshly curse and shame those who will not believe, warning them that their destruction will be worse than the absolute obliteration of Sodom and Gomorrah for homosexual acts

Mt 10:7-15; Mk 6:7-13;  Lk 9:1-6

Jesus emphatically warns men to fear God (Him) who can destroy the soul and body in Hell

Mt 10:26-33

Jesus proclaims He has come with a sword to divide believers from unbelievers and warns His disciples they are “not worthy” if they do not love Him above even family

Mt 10:34-11:1

Jesus strongly rebukes and humiliates Simon the Pharisee in his own home for his disrespect and lack of love, warning him that His sins will not be forgiven if he doesn’t change

Lk 7:36-50

Jesus rebukes and humiliates the falsely curious people in the crowds, comparing them to pouting little children

Mt 11:16-19

Jesus condemns and shames unrepentant cities, promising they will be “brought down to Hades” at the Judgment and their fate will be worse than Sodom and Gomorrah’s destruction for rampant homosexual acts

Mt 11:20-24; Lk 10:1-12,17-20 (including omitted v 13-16)

Jesus rebukes the request for a “sign” and calls His enemies a “evil and adulterous generation”

Mt 12:38-42

Jesus warns of the destruction that comes to those who refuse to believe in Him

Mt 13:18-23

Jesus harshly condemns the Pharisees for their sinful disregard for their parents and their devious manipulation of laws to justify their lack of care for their parents

Mk 7:1-13

Jesus bluntly rebukes the Jews for murmuring against Him and reveals their fathers died in the desert, revealing that they too will die unless they come to Him

Jn 6:22-29

Jesus confronts the Apostles to choose if they will continue to believe after the Bread of Life Sermon and reveals that one of them is a “devil” (Judas)

Jn 6:60-69 (including omitted v 70-71)

Jesus ridicules and embarrasses the Pharisees for their false pious practices which has led them to be spiritually “blind”

Mt 15:1-2, 10-14 (including omitted v 15-20); Mk 7:14-23

Jesus bluntly rebukes Peter for his lack of faith (“Oh you of little faith…”) during his attempt to walk on water during the storm on the sea of Galilee

Mt 14:22-33; Mk 6:45-52; Jn 6:16-21

Jesus insults and likens a pagan woman and her people (Canaanites) to “dogs” (considered filthy scavengers at the time)

Mt 15:21-28; Mk 7:24-30

Jesus harshly rebukes the Apostles for their lack of understanding, insulting them for their lack of faith and for being hard-hearted

Mt 16:21-27; Mk 8:14-21; Lk 9:22-25

Jesus severely rebukes and shocks Peter, when he dares to challenge Jesus, saying “get behind me Satan”

Mk 8:27-35

Jesus calls the crowd an “adulterous and sinful generation”, a clear warning about their condemnation, because of their lack of faith and warns that He will not advocate for them in the coming Judgment

Mk 8:27-35 (including omitted v 36-37)

Jesus harshly rebukes another crowd, calling them an “adulterous and sinful generation”

Mt 16:24-28; Mk 8:34-9:1; Lk 9:23-26

Jesus condemns evil religious leaders as Satan-inspired “hirelings”, “thieves” and cowards who abandon their people

Jn 10:1-10

Jn 10:11-18

Jesus rejects and condemns the Jews for their disbelief, confirming they will perish rather than receive eternal life

Jn 10:22-30

Jesus becomes aggravated with the Pharisees who seek to test Him and He reveals they will not receive the sign they seek

Mk 8:11-13

Jesus angrily rebukes His disciples for their lack of belief calling them “faithless and perverse” and humiliates them when He harshly says, “How long am I to bear with you?”

Mt 17:14-20; Mk 9:14-29

Jesus warns of the violent destruction of those who cause others to sin (better to have a millstone tied around neck and drown in sea); Jesus warns men to take extreme action to avoid sin (cut off hand/foot; gouge out an eye) so as to not be cast into the “hell of fire”

Mt 18:1-5, 10, 12-14 (including omitted v 6-9,11); Lk 17:1-6

Jesus rebukes and embarrasses the Apostles for their pride and instructs them they must instead be like lowly servants and innocent as a child

Mt 18:1-5, 10, 12-14; Mk 9:30-37; Lk 9:46-50

Jesus bluntly rebukes John for trying to stop another man who was casting out demons in Christ’s Name

Mk 9:38-40; Lk 9:46-50

Jesus directs men to aggressively confront other men in the Church who commit serious sin and, if the sinners refuse to repent, to disdain and shun them (treat them as a “Gentile and a tax collector”).

Mt 18:15-20

Jesus confirms that His heavenly Father will condemn those who refuse do forgive and deliver them to eternal brutal punishment by “torturers.”

Mt 18:21-35

Jesus sharply rebukes James and John for wanting to destroy a Samaritan village

Lk 9:51-62

Jesus shocks would-be disciples, calling those who do not make an absolute commitment to immediately follow Him as unworthy for His Kingdom

Lk 9:57-62

Jesus warns of eternal torture of Hell for the evil in the Parable of the Unmerciful Slave

Matt 18:21-35

Jesus bluntly rebukes a man who requests for Jesus to help him seek his brother’s inheritance

Jesus mocks and condemns the “fool” in the Parable of The Rich Fool for materialism, ingratitude, greed,  gluttony, and sloth.

Lk 12:13-21

Lk 12:13-21

Jesus likens disciples to “slaves”, condemns unfaithful disciples and confirms their tortuous coming punishment (literally, they will be “cut in two”) in the example of the Parable of the Faithful and Unfaithful Slaves

Lk 12:32-48

Jesus declares He has come to bring division within families, forcing all to choose to either follow Him or reject Him

Lk 12:49-53

Jesus calls the crowds “hypocrites”, shaming them for their obsession with worldly things and their failure to consider spiritual things

Lk 12:54-59

Jesus ominously warns that, “all” those who are unrepentant will be destroyed (“perish”) and those who fail to be fruitful will be destroyed (“cut down”).

Lk 13:1-9

Jesus insults (“hypocrite”), embarrasses and shames the synagogue ruler for challenging His healing of a crippled woman on the Sabbath

Lk 13:10-17

Jesus warns lukewarm and false disciples, calling them “workers of iniquity” (extreme wickedness) and warns them of their coming condemnation to Hell

Lk 13:22-30

Jesus sees through the Pharisees’ attempts to intimidate Him by telling Him that Herod is planning to murder Him; Jesus refuses to retreat and pushes back by mocking the powerful Kind Herod as a “fox”

Lk 13:31-35

Jesus publicly rebukes and embarrasses the Pharisees for their childish and prideful seeking of status

Lk 14:1, 7-14

Jesus warns that those who refuse to respond to God’s many generous invitations anger Him and they will be excluded from Heaven. 

Lk 14:15-24

Jesus publicly condemns the abomination (detestable, loathsome, horrible thing that defiles) that is in the Pharisees’ hearts; a grave condemnation that can bring stoning

Lk 16:9-15

Jesus publicly rebukes the nine ungrateful Jewish lepers

Lk 17:11-19

Jesus rebukes the Pharisees over their “hardness of heart ” and reveals their ignorance

Mt 19:3-12; Mk 10:1-12

Jesus rebukes the disciples for trying to keep parents from bringing their children to Him

Mt 19:13-15; Mk 10:2-16

Jesus condemns and warns of the envy and greed of men in the Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard

Mt 20:1-16

Jesus rebukes the Apostles for their prideful desire for honor and cryptically alludes to their own martyrdom

Mt 20:17-28; Mk 10:32-45

Jesus rebukes the crowd that tries to stifle the blind Bartimaeus’ cries for Christ’s mercy by commanding them to bring Bartimaeus to Him

Mk 10:46-52; Lk 18:35-43

Jesus shocks, infuriates and publicly shames the Jewish leaders, revealing that “tax collectors and the harlots” will be received into Heaven before them

Mt 21:28-32

Jesus warns and intimidates that the unfruitful Jewish leadership will lose the Kingdom and be “broken to pieces” and “crushed” by the stone (Jesus) Whom they have rejected

Mt 21:33-43 (including omitted v 44)

Jesus bluntly rebukes the Rich Man for calling Him “good”

Mk 10:17-27

Jesus violently clears the Temple a second time during Holy Week

Mk 11:22-26; Lk 19:45-48

Jesus bluntly warns the wicked of their coming destruction in the Parable of the Wicked Tenants

Mt 21:33-43, 45-46 (including omitted v 44); Mk 12:1-12

Jesus issues harsh warnings about unworthy reception of the Eucharist in the Parable of the Marriage Feast, confirming the unworthy will be “bound hand and foot” and “cast into the outer darkness” (an allusion to the eternal damnation of Hell) where there is “weeping and gnashing of teeth”

Mt 22:1-14

Jesus publicly curses the Pharisees with seven woes, severely embarrassing them by calling them “serpents” and “broods of vipers” and warns them that they will be “sentenced to Hell”

Mt 23:1-12

Mt 23:13-22

Mt 23:23-26

Mt 23:27-32 (including omitted v 33-39)

Lk 11:37-41

Lk 11:42-46

Lk 11:47-54

Jesus embarrasses and confounds the hypocritical Pharisees and Herodians for trying to test Him about paying the Temple tax

Mt 22:15-21

Mk 12:13-17

Jesus bluntly condemns the Sadducees’ errors about the resurrection and humiliates them for their ignorance of Scripture

Mk 12:18-27; Lk 20:27-38

Jesus publicly challenges the scribes for their errors about the identity of the Messiah

Mk 12:35-37

Jesus denounces the hypocrisy and greed of the evil scribes and warns that they will receive “the greater condemnation” (judgment and punishment)

Mk 12:38-44

Jesus tests, outsmarts and then publicly rebukes the Jewish leaders during Holy Week with the Parable of the Two Sons

Mt 21:28-32

Jesus offers a grim outlook for evil-doers in the Parable of the Wicked Tenants

Mt 21:33-43, 45-46

Jesus warns and threatens unfruitful men in the Parable of the Talents, calling them “wicked” and warning that they will cast into the “outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth”; Jesus says, “…slay them before me” (Lk 19:27); these are harsh warnings about the Judgment and the damnation of Hell

Mt 25:14-30; Lk 19:11-28

In The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats, Jesus offers a frightening glimpse of the condemnation of those who fail to love, saying, “Depart from Me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels”

Mt 25:31-46

Jesus bluntly rebukes and shames Judas in front of the Apostles for attacking Mary’s generous act of anointing Him with oil

Jn 12:1-11

Jesus frustrated, rebukes Philip and Apostles for their confusion and lack of faith

Jn 14:7-14

Jesus sarcastically rebukes the Apostles for their slowness of belief and accurately reveals that they will shamefully “scatter” and abandon Him

Jn 16:29-33

Jesus warns men to avoid sin so that they will be able to “stand before the Son of Man.”

Lk 21:36

Jesus tells the Apostles to sell their cloaks so they can buy swords sword

Lk 22:36

Perhaps warning them of their evil, Jesus knocks a large gathering of soldiers who have come to arrest Him to the ground in the Garden of Gethsemane

Jn 18:6

Jesus bluntly rebukes the two disciples on the Road to Emmaus for their disbelief, calling them “foolish” and “slow of heart”

Lk 24:13-35

Jesus harshly rebukes the Apostles, disgracing and shaming them for their disbelief after the Resurrection

Mk 16:9-15; Lk 24:35-48

Jesus rebukes and shames Thomas in front of the other Apostles for his disbelief 

Jn 20:19-31

Jesus confronts and shames Peter for Peter’s cowardly denials of Him during the Passion, forcing Peter to show repentance and belief

Jn 21:15-19